Movies

Aurelio De Laurentiis announces $ 100 mn expansion plan

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MUMBAI: Italian film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis has announced an ambitious $100 million expansion plan for his Filmauro production house. He has also opined on a variety of topics including a new strategy for film distribution, criticism of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti‘s alleged disinterest in film and an end to Filmauro‘s highly profitable Christmas film franchise.

The expansion plans, involving Universal Pictures International Italy, were the centerpiece of the gregarious De Laurentiis‘ meandering 80-minute monologue at Universal‘s Rome headquarters, with Universal Italy president Richard Borg and De Laurentiis‘ son, Luigi De Laurentiis also present.

De Laurentiis said he would produce at least 20 films in conjunction with Universal Italy, including some international titles. Among them: the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs: Get Inspired and a yet-unnamed project he said would be based on a Truman Capote story and would star Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling.

De Laurentiis, 63, nephew of the late famed producer Dino De Laurentiis, also predicted that comedic actor Christian De Sica, the son of iconic Italian director Vittorio De Sica would try his hand increasingly at directing in the future.

The Italian productions he said are in the works include Colpi di fulmine (Lightning Strike), the latest comedy from Neri Parenti, a comedy he said would be called Mr. Love, another featuring popular comic Carlo Verdone called Sei personaggi in cerca d‘amore (Six Characters in Search of Love) and three films from young director Alberto Ferrari, including one that De Laurentiis said Oscar-winning actor and director Roberto Benigni wanted but that De Laurentiis snatched away from him.

The producer also said that he would make his first foray into television next year, with a project of six 100-minute episodes taken from a book by best-selling author Giorgio Faletti.

He also said he soon will travel to Los Angeles to meet with Universal brass to discuss a still wider agreement with the company, covering territories other than Italy.

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